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  • From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove

What does God say about growing old?

What does growing old mean? If you asked a five year old and a seventy-five year old, you would get very different answers. Does this mean that the experience gained in those seventy years brings us a different perspective on age and growing old?

Prov 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.” Is God telling us that growing old, including the gray hairs we gain along the way, bring a form of beauty not yet earned during our youth? 2 Cor 4:16, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Is God saying the outer beauty of youth can transform into the inner beauty that continues to improve as we age? How? Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Does God not call us to renew our mind by reading the Bible? What will happen if we ignore this and do not work to improve our inward being? Our outward beauty will wane no matter how hard we fight to save it and one day we will all return to dust, Eccl 3:7, “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” How futile are our efforts to stop time, what has been the cost, how much have we wasted and what will we gain by it?

Jam 4:14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” This life is short, it could end in a heartbeat, what will we do with it? Will we use this time to acquire the inner beauty God loves? Will this inner beauty not shine His light into a dying world, so that lost souls can find their way to God? Matt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Is there any greater meaning for this life?

Ps 71:18, “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Does showing our strength mean we share the wisdom we have acquired over the years? Are we to teach this wisdom to all who are willing to hear? Rev 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Will we be able to feed all those who are all willing to hear? Or, will we waste this life and have nothing to feed them?

Ps 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” How do we apply our hearts to wisdom? Is numbering our days an important element? Does numbering our days mean we are not to waste them on pleasure only, to the exclusion of gaining wisdom? Prov 4:26-27, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” When we live long enough to acquire gray hair, we experience the long-term results of the choices we have made and those we have seen others make. Does this experience provide us the proof we need to better understand God’s advice? Ps 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

If we believe there is more to this life than just trying to enjoy it, what are we doing about it? God has given each of us our allotted time on earth, so that we may figure this out and do something? But, what are we supposed to do? Prov 3:6, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” When we acknowledge Him in all we do, He will direct our paths. So, acknowledging Him is where we should start, Matt 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Seeking His righteousness is the beginning.

If we are lucky enough to acquire gray hair, it might be because we have not yet completed the work God has called us to do. What has God called us to do? Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” If God has an expected end planned for us, why aren’t we looking for it? We need to do something today, for we never know which day will be our last.

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